Building safely has always been a high priority for construction companies, especially for Oil and Gas pipelines.
Like roads and railways, transmission pipelines, also called Energy Highways, are vital for the global economy. From the initial concept through to the in-service date, designing and building a pipeline is a lengthy process involving many discussions and decisions. In Canada, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) works to improve pipeline safety, regulatory engagement, transparency, and sustainability of the industry in Canada.
Pipeline construction and operation requires access to land that may be owned, occupied and used by others. Stakeholder engagement describes how pipeline companies interact and work with these groups, along with others that could be impacted by pipeline construction and operations. Pipeline companies must meet regulatory requirements around stakeholder engagement.
Because they are potentially impacted by pipeline construction and operation, it is natural for these stakeholders to be concerned. They want information regarding pipeline projects, but often also want to have a say in the project design and operation.
Pipeline companies engage with a variety of key stakeholders from aboriginal communities, landowners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media, all levels of government, and provincial and federal regulators. Ensuring that stakeholders participate in a two-way, cooperative and constructive process protects the social license of pipeline companies to operate.
Pipeline companies are committed to creating and maintaining two-way communications with all stakeholders. This two-way communication keeps stakeholders informed about the project and keeps the pipeline operator aware of community issues and concerns. It also helps to establish a working relationship and trust between the parties, which is necessary to resolve any contentious issues.
There are many ways to engage stakeholders but typically pipeline companies use four basic steps to help them design and implement their stakeholder consultation programs:
Designing pipeline systems require consideration of a number of factors, including the distance to be traveled, the expected volumes to be received and delivered by the pipeline, and the type and range of products to flow through the pipe.
These factors determine how thick the pipe needs to be built to ensure safety and how many pumping or compression stations need to keep the energy products flowing smoothly and safely through the pipe.
In addition, pipeline designers have to take into account a number of factors when considering the route, the pipeline should take. For example:
Pipeline construction is divided into three phases, each with its own activities:
Regulation of transmission pipelines falls into two basic areas — regulations that help the industry ensure the safety of communities and the environment, and the regulation of transportation charges. In addition, the industry has established or participates in a number of engineering and scientific committees that help set widely accepted technical standards for construction and operation of pipelines.
Social and regulatory risks are inevitable. But identifying, mitigating and being pro-active with those risks can be achieved easily if you manage the right information. Good data will allow you better dialogue with your stakeholders leading to better decisions!
IsoMetrix provides the oil and gas industry with specialized solutions for the management of Governance, Risk, and Compliance. Offering a comprehensive suite of solutions across the enterprise, from Social Management through to Health, Safety, Environment, Sustainability, Risk, Compliance and Audit, IsoMetrix is the ideal GRC tool across the full lifecycle of an oil and gas project.
An integrated GRC System will allow you to:
In our next post, we will detail how IsoMetrix solutions can support the pipeline industry in maintaining safe pipelines.
About the Author
Benoit Froment was appointed as Director: North America for Metrix Software Solutions in October 2015. Benoit is responsible for leading the IsoMetrix operations in the US and Canada, including Sales and Marketing, Implementation and Customer Support. He is also an IsoMetrix Subject Matter Expert in Social Sustainability.